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Does anyone agree with these tips? - Gary Radice's Blog

About Gary Radice
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I'm a married 60 year old Brit who lives near Liverpool, UK. 

I started writing poetry as a hobby after taking retirement from my role as a Registered Mental Health Nurse working in the field of Brain Injury Rehabilitation.

Themes of the seaside, railways and the naivety of childhood crop up often in my poems and I like to write (usually in rhyme) just what I see, no matter how trivial that may be.

Although some of my work is based on my own personal experiences, I try to focus on imagery and places in time that are identifiable to the reader as well.

I also enjoy 'weaving' stories through my work and occasionally put my own spin on the classics.

Other than at school, the only poems I have ever written are those that you can read here at Poetry Soup.

If you have the time to view and comment on any of my work here then I would really appreciate it. I'm always open to constructive criticism.

Thank you

Gary 


Does anyone agree with these tips?

Blog Posted:5/3/2020 9:26:00 AM

I tend to run a mile when I see articles headed "Top 10 tips for..." (whatever the subject) so when I came across an article on the BBC website recently entitled "Top 10 tips for being a sucessful poet" I ignored it completely..

at first..

Okay, then I just had to have a look..

The article (actually dated 11th October 2014) was written by Sir Andrew Motion who is an English poet and novelist and was Poet Laureate between 1999 - 2009. 

I'm sure Mr Motion didn't come up with the title for the article  - that was probably Alison Feeney-Hart who put the article together, but some of his tips which he evidently finds useful resonate with me, and, well, who knows, may resonate with others here at Poetry Soup too?

Obvious? Not obvious? Agree? Don't agree? Read? Ignore?

Whatever your thoughts, I thought it was an interesting article to highlight anyway. (Apologies if it has been highlighted before, I'm just 9 months in with Poetry Soup)

I've precised Andrew Motion's tips and quotes tfrom the article below:

1: Let your subject find you.

"..Writing poems for me is not simply a matter of grieving, though very often it is that, it's wanting to resurrect or preserve or do things that pull against the fact of our mortality."

2: Tap into your own feelings.

"..The poems I most like are where the engine is a very emotional one, where the warmth of strong feeling is very powerfully present in the thing that is being given to us."

3: Write about subjects that matter to you.

"The best poems get written, not by going in the front door of the subject, but round the back or down the chimney or through the window.' Tell all the truth but tell it slant' said Emily Dickinson and that's always been a very important remark for me." 

4: Celebrate the ordinary and be choosy.

"Honour the miraculousness of the ordinary. What we very badly need to remember is that the things right under our noses are extraordinary, fascinating, irreplaceable, profound and just kind of marvellous.."

5: Use everything in your toolbox.

"I haven't written a rhyming poem now for many years, I seem to have lost my appetite for it, but I haven't lost my pleasure in reading them..never to use rhyme in your poetry would be a bit like buying a car and never getting out of second gear."

6: If you get stuck, go for a walk or wash your hair.

"Wordsworth once said that the act of walking was closely related to the creative process. I do love walking and if I get stuck I go for a walk or if I don't have much time, I wash my hair - it seems to wake my brain up!"   

Edward Ibeh's "Writers' Block" blog came to mind here  :)

7: Let your work be open to interpretation.

In Auden's beautiful eulogy for Yeats, he said, 'He became his admirers,' and I think that's kind of what he had in mind actually. You give your work over to your readers.. it's absolutely open to them what they find in it."

8: Read your poetry out loud.

"Reading your poetry out loud is crucial and absolutely indispensable because wherever we reckon the meaning of a poem might lie, we want to admit that it's got as much to do with the noise it makes when we hear it aloud, as it has to do with what the words mean when we see them written down on the page."

9: Find the right time to write.

"Find your own writing time. Everybody will have a slightly different time of day, I have yet to meet the person who thinks the early afternoon is good, but I expect there is someone who thinks the early afternoon is good."

I actually find writing early afternoon helps me; especially in this lockdown. :)

10: Read a lot, revise and persevere.

..assume that your first thoughts are not your best thoughts, so revise, revise, revise and don't expect every poem to work, because it won't..Persevere. I think right at the beginning of your writing life you really have to accept that within a few years, or possibly even a few months, you are going to be able to wallpaper quite a large room with rejection slips. But don't let that put you off - if you've got it, you've got it!"

 

The original BBC article can be found at:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-29538180

 



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Date: 5/14/2020 6:44:00 PM
I especially like and do #8...it's so much easier to see if I have the right flow, rhythm and feeling...and #10...it takes me several different readings on different days to see if I am satisfied. thanks for passing the thoughts along.
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Gary Radice
Date: 5/15/2020 3:59:00 AM
Hi Jeanne. Thank you for your comments. Re: No. 10 - I, for one, am forever revising my poems, even when they've been published here on PS. and that includes changing the title now and again. Glad you enjoyed reading the tips.
Date: 5/10/2020 12:59:00 AM
For me, (as with my music or art), it's just "do" or "don't do", and I don't have any rules or guidelines ... I'm far too chaotic and faulty for that, lol. I DO find these hints fascinating, though, and I think they'd be very helpful to most folks. I'm afraid, for me, it would end up like my cooking - if I start following recipes I'm doomed for sure! ;o) Great blog, Gary!
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Gary Radice
Date: 5/10/2020 2:51:00 AM
Thanks for your comments Gregory. Like yourself, it's just do or don't with me too ..as a rule :) I will add that No. 4 above typifies my thinking when it comes to writing.
Date: 5/9/2020 6:00:00 AM
Thanks so much for sharing these helpful information. God bless you.
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Gary Radice
Date: 5/10/2020 2:52:00 AM
My pleasure Beata. Thank you for your comments.
Date: 5/3/2020 6:10:00 PM
Gary, i agree with every single tip, thank you so much for sharing _Constance
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Gary Radice
Date: 5/4/2020 3:36:00 AM
No problem at all! Thank you Constance.
Date: 5/3/2020 1:33:00 PM
For my part Gary ,I would agree with Armitage's wise words...after that and from your list as an imagist 1 & 7 ,then 8 read aloud and would add another.. always(&and everywhere) have a pen and paper to hand.
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Gary Radice
Date: 5/3/2020 1:51:00 PM
The pen and paper is essential in my life. Any scrap piece will do. :) Thanks Brian.
Date: 5/3/2020 1:25:00 PM
Gary,our current laueate Simon Armitage suggests 'there is really only one lesson.. you can't be a writer unlees you are a reader.What goes out is version of what goes in.
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Gary Radice
Date: 5/3/2020 1:49:00 PM
That is very profound. I need to go away and ponder on what Simon Armitage has suggested. Thank you Brian.
Date: 5/3/2020 11:41:00 AM
numbers 3, 4, 5 and 9. The others don't much apply to me. Oh, 10 sometimes too! and 8 is fun to do.
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Gary Radice
Date: 5/3/2020 12:05:00 PM
Thanks for your comments Andrea. Re: No. 8: I often read my poetry out aloud..but only to myself. :)

My Past Blog Posts

 
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Poetry Soup: One Year In
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The Importance of the Title
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Does anyone agree with these tips?
Date Posted: 5/3/2020 9:26:00 AM
Poetry Power
Date Posted: 4/6/2020 4:06:00 AM

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